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Florida Family Law

Do I Have to Pay Child Support if I Have No Income?

Posted on April 26, 2017

Orlando Child Support Attorney

It depends on the specific facts of your case and the Judge. As a rule of thumb, you should always first speak to your attorney before unilaterally deciding against paying child support, even if you don't think you can afford it. Here are a few tips to remember when whether you must make your child support payments.

  1. You still have to pay if you are unemployed. If at any point you become unemployed while you are required to pay child support, your responsibilities will not change unless you file the appropriate motions with the Court. The court may ‘impute’ your income at minimum wage, or they might evaluate your job history, analyze your skills, and decide how much money you should be making. A vocational expert (a person qualified to make a determination as to the amount you should be making based on your skill set and experience) might be useful in this scenario but they are costly.

  2. Trying to avoid paying will make things worse. If you purposefully become unemployed to attempt to dodge child support payments, the Court may hold you in contempt and set a purge amount for you to pay in lieu of being sent to jail.  Remember, the State of Florida can also do what is called “intercepting” funds from various sources other than employment—this means your large tax refund you were expecting could be taken by the state to ensure your child support obligation is paid in part. 

  3. Agreements with the other party. You should always consult with a lawyer before entering into a written agreement with the other party concerning your child support obligations. Certain counties have certain rules on the number of times you and the other party can file a Joint Stipulation to correct, or give credit for the child support paid, pursuant to your agreements. Any agreement to waive a portion of the child support you owe, should be in writing and drafted by an attorney.

Consult the Professionals

If it ever comes to the point where you can’t afford to pay child support, do not take any action on your own. Ensure you contact your local family law attorneys, like those at the Roberts Family Law Firm in Orlando.  Our lawyers are knowledgeable about child support laws and will fight aggressively by your side to make sure you receive the best outcome possible. If you have questions or would like to speak to one of our Orlando child suppor attorneys, call us today at 407-426-6999 or fill out the online form provided o this page and we will contact you shortly.

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